Wake Forest basketball teams showcased

Both the mens’s and women’s basketball teams showed off their skills at “Deacon Jam”


Christina Denovio, Sports Editor

Winter is coming. As the weather cools off and fall sports come to a close, Wake Forest sports fanatics have a special time of the year to look forward to: basketball season.

On Oct. 29, fans got a sneak peek at the men’s and women basketball teams in a special preseason event, Deacon Jam. Held in the Varsity Arena at Reynolds Gymnasium, the event took the place of the annual President’s Ball, which had been previously scheduled for the same date. The President’s Ball has been moved to the spring semester to ensure health, safety and protection for the community.

Deacon Jam marked the official beginning of the 2021-22 basketball season. The event allowed for students to get acquainted with coaches of the men’s and women’s teams — Steve Forbes and Jen Hoover — and meet the players.

Alongside getting to know the teams and staff, those who attended had the opportunity to watch a dunk contest, a three-point shooting contest and other activities.

Cheerleader Amanda Berrios described her experience at the event: “Deacon Jam was honestly a really electric atmosphere, mostly because both teams haven’t been able to perform in front of people since before the pandemic.”

Berrios continued: “You could tell how energetic and excited the players are for this season simply by how much they were hyping up the crowd and each other. I’m really looking forward to basketball season after watching both the teams during Deacon Jam.”

Men’s basketball player Robert McCray, a 6’4” freshman from Columbia, S.C. took home the title in the dunk contest with an epic in between the legs slam.

McCray has proven he is a player to watch out for. He has shown incredible athleticism at the mock NBA Combine, where he recorded a 42-inch max vertical leap. Apart from winning the dunk contest, the freshman was ranked the No. 11 combo guard nationally by 247Sports.

Deacon Jam was just one of many events to occur over Homecoming Weekend. The field hockey team lost a close game to Boston College on Oct. 29 by a score of 2-1.

Men’s soccer recorded a 2-0 win over Syracuse that same night, with goals coming from freshman Babcar Niang and senior Kyle Holcomb. Perhaps most impressively, women’s soccer upset No. 2 Duke by a score of 2-1 in the quarterfinal of the ACC Championship.

Fall sports teams have had a strong run thus far, setting the standards high for the winter teams. For the first game of the season, the women’s basketball team is set to face Mercer on the road on Nov. 9.

The men play an exhibition game against Winston-Salem State on Nov. 5 at home in the LJVM Coliseum. Their first official contest of the season will occur at home on Nov. 10 against William & Mary.